Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

The Australian Legends

I was in the post office this morning and caught a glance at the Australian Literary Legends stamp collection. One of the girls there had a sheet of them out.

If you haven't heard of the literary legends, and I certainly haven't, having no real interest in stamp collecting or what is on them, then you may or may not be interested to know that the six white people who appear on very white stamps, are Peter Carey, David Malouf, Colleen McCullough, Bryce Courtenay, Thomas Keneally, and Tim Winton. I suppose it's hard to argue with the selection, though one could have hoped for a little more racial diversity, or perhaps interesting writers. I have never seen any literary merit in Courtenay, for example, and I've long considered Winton to be hugely over rated. But most of that is taste. If you wanted a poke at some of the most commercial and critically successful authors within the country, the six here make an easy and reasonable selection.

But still, there's just something so... white about them and so horrendously mono cultured, which is, in a way, ironic in what the majority of the authors have written about. No doubt someone will accuse me of reading too much into a set of stamps, but there's something about them there that takes no acknowledgement of the diversity and interests of the authors and their topics. It's as if the designers of the stamp had no real awareness of the authors they were dealing with, and no real appreciation of Australian literature.



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